Friday, May 18, 2012

News from the war zone

 As I'm getting ready to head downtown to support the nurse's protest rally at Daley Plaza, I'm struck by the front page headline in the Sun-Times.

Remember Rahm had promised that the city would be "open for business." That the gathering of the NATO war machine would put Chicago on the world map, make it more of a target destination for tourists and shake loose from our "Al Capone" image. The mayor even went so far as to proclaim NATO as a peace group, and the Summit as the scene of the "Chicago Accords" which would put an end to war as we know it.

But Rahm's Potemkin Village has turned into Nightmare on State Street. Here's what the thousands of foreign press and dignitaries will see when they step out of their limos after a ride from O'hare to downtown that may remind war reporter of the ride down Baghdad Airport Road. Espressways from the airport to the loop are shut down. The Museums are all closed. South Loop stores are closed, windows boarded up. Thousands who work in the city are being told to stay home. One can only imagine the lost revenue to the city during Rahm's NATO Fiasco.

Please come to the Rally to Support Teachers and School Staff May 23, 3 - 5 p.m. Outside the Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Congress

The S-T has published a NATO Survival Guide. Tips include:
  • Avoid the North Side (Can't. I live there).
  • Avoid the South Side (You mean, hang out on the West Side? Bad advice for tourists)
  • Buses will be no sure bet
  • Forget about the museums
  • Avoid Metra Electric Line.
  • Don't be bashful (about having your private parts patted down when you try and board a train).
  • Stay home
Inquiring minds want to know -- Who owns the drone?

When asked about the drone spotted in the Chicago area, Defense Department spokesman George Little responded:   
The -- well, I don't know about the particular aircraft you're referencing. But the U.S. military is providing a support role through NORTHCOM to support security for the summit. The -- and that's in accordance with American law.
On the other side of the tote board, thousands of protesters will be in the streets this weekend, demanding a humane society that takes care of its neediest and an end to the bloated military machine which sucks up so much in the way of human resources and human life at the expense of our schools, health care and basic needs.

They also want to know -- What happened to their friends who had their front door kicked down, their house raided (with no warrant) and who were disappeared (an old Argentinian expression) with no charges.

Open for business indeed.  A tourist Mecca? Rahm is making Al Capone look good.

More coming on this.

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